Even though many Indians have migrated through the world, their heart is still in India. That was exemplified on this Thursday morning as a group of Indian Americans gathered outside the iconic Willard Hotel, right across from the White House to meet the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who was in Washington, DC to attend the Nuclear Security Summit. Given that it was a working day, people had taken off work and started lining up outside the hotel as early as 7am to get a good view of the PM who came out for a few minutes to meet the supporters. Since there are many heads of state in town for the summit and the proximity the White House there was tight security around the hotel, with many streets in the immediate vicinity closed off to cars and pedestrians. However none of this seemed to be a deterrent for crowd that had assembled or the large media presence, both from India as well as local Indian media outlets.
Ever since his first trip to the US almost 2 years ago, Mr. Modi seems to get a rock star’s welcome in the US. During this first visit he spoke to a packed house at Madison Square Garden in New York and received an equally warm reception as he arrived in Washington DC. It was no different on this breezy Thursday morning where the mood was almost festive as the crowd eagerly awaited the PM’s arrival. There was chatting of “Modi” and “Vande Matram” with trirangs waving outside the Willard Hotel. Clearly Narendra Modi has struck a chord with American Indians. He’s been the face of change in India and has made efforts to put India on the map as a global and economic player on the world stage. This has resonated with Indians overseas that have left India, in some cases decades ago, but still want to see their motherland progress into the future. As true Indians, during the wait, many passionate cricket fans were streaming the India vs. Sri Lanka semi final cricket match and discussing the state of politics both in India as well as America with reporters.
Even in a short time, Mr. Modi has a way of connecting with a crowd. The In the few minutes he was outside the Willard, he made his way through crowd, making and effort to shake hands with as many people has he could reach. His raising from humble roots and his desire to bring about change has given him a huge fan following overseas. He has given Indians around the world a hope that India can live up the its highest potential and gain a seat on the world stage. It was a pleasure meeting such an energizing Prime Minister with a message of hope and progress. Weather it is politics or cricket, no matter what part of the world they live in, an India will always bleed blue.